The Hamzah Khan serious case review brings into sharp focus why there must be strong, joined up and effective systems in place to keep in contact with, and track, children at risk. No child should ever fall off the radar or become invisible, to child protection agencies and society as a whole.
Several key issues stand out. The report demonstrates powerfully the paramount need to keep sight of children who may be suffering neglect or abuse; the needs of vulnerable parents must never obscure focus on knowing what life is like for children. Talking and listening to them, as well as observing how their lives are affected, is an essential element of child protection practice.
– Annie Hudson, chief executive of The College of Social Work
The chair of a serious case review into four-year-old Hamzah Khan's death has said he will respond to the "constructive questions" in a letter from the children's minister about the report.
Professor Nick Frost said: "We will respond fully. We want to share information. We want to be transparent.
Bradford Council's director of children's services Kath Tunstall added that she welcomed the minister's intervention and said his "stringent questions" would help in the process of learning lessons for the future.
This deeply saddening case reveals a host of issues that go far wider than just the mother of Hamzah Khan. More than anything this case highlights how small but timely interventions at crucial points from professionals, but from the public too, could have prevented this tragedy.
It is utterly depressing that the first time all the information about the risks in Hamzah’s life were pulled together is a report which has only been written because he is dead. No one professional held all the information whilst he was alive to pull together the fuller picture that might have saved him.
Professor Nick Frost, chair of the Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, who led the serious case review into Hamzah Khan's death has said it is is his responsibility to "ensure lessons are learnt".
"Very sadly, I cannot give assurances that a tragedy like this will never happen again in our country - as we can't control or predict the behaviour of all parents, the vast majority of whom are doing their very best to care for their children.
"However, I can assure you that at this stage I am satisfied each agency is responding adequately but this is an ongoing process which requires constant monitoring.
"No child should go through what Hamzah experienced. I am satisfied that systems are in place today that minimise the chance of a situation such as this ever being repeated in Bradford."
Following the publication of a serious care review in the death of four-year-old Hamzah Khan, the children's minister Edward Timpson has written to Bradford Safeguarding Children Board asking them to answer 10 key questions missing from the report.
Mr Timpson said the answers to the "glaring absences" from the review must be made public to "ensure such mistakes will not be repeated in the future".
The children's minister Edward Timpson has said he has "deep concerns" about the serious case review into the death of Hamzah Khan because it "fails to explain sufficiently clearly the actions taken, or not taken, by children's social care".